The National Maritime Museum

Located in the vibrant town of Falmouth, The National Maritime Museum Cornwall stands as a beacon of maritime heritage, celebrating the influence of the sea on history and culture.

This award-winning museum, with its striking architecture and waterfront setting, offers an immersive journey through the nation’s rich maritime past and present.

From historic boats and artefacts to interactive exhibits and live workshops, the museum provides an engaging experience for all ages, making it a must-visit destination for holidaymakers in Cornwall.

Discovering The National Maritime Museum Cornwall

The museum’s collections span across small boats from around the world, maritime art, and objects that tell the story of Cornwall’s unique maritime history.

With a focus on bringing maritime history to life, the museum offers a variety of permanent and temporary exhibitions, hands-on activities, and even boat-building demonstrations.

Highlights of the Museum

The Main Hall: Home to a flotilla of small boats hanging from the ceiling, showcasing maritime design and innovation.

The Lookout Tower: Offering panoramic views over Falmouth harbour and beyond, it’s the perfect spot to appreciate Cornwall’s stunning coastline.

The Tidal Zone: An underwater gallery that gives visitors a unique view of the ebb and flow of the tides in Falmouth Harbour.

Boatbuilding Workshops: Witness the craftsmanship of traditional boat building and restoration projects.

Planning Your Visit

Getting There

The National Maritime Museum Cornwall is situated on Discovery Quay in Falmouth, easily accessible by car with several public car parks nearby.

Falmouth is well connected by public transport, with train and bus services running regularly from major towns and cities in Cornwall.

Tickets and Opening Times

The museum is open daily, except for Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Opening hours typically run from 10 am to 5 pm, but it’s a good idea to check the museum’s official website for the most up-to-date information.

Tickets can be purchased online in advance or on arrival, with family tickets and concessions available.

Your ticket grants you access to the museum for a full year, allowing you to return as many times as you like.

Best Times to Visit

While the museum offers a fantastic experience year-round, visiting outside of peak summer months can mean fewer crowds and a more personal experience.

The museum also hosts special events, talks, and activities during school holidays, making these periods particularly exciting for families.

Maximising Your Experience

Join a Guided Tour: Enhance your visit with a guided tour, available on certain days, providing deeper insights into the collections and exhibitions.

Interactive Exhibits: Don’t miss the interactive displays and activities designed to engage visitors of all ages, from ship simulators to hands-on maritime crafts.

Check the Events Programme: The museum hosts a diverse range of events, including lectures, workshops, and family-friendly activities, adding extra value to your visit.

Tips for Your Visit

Dress Comfortably: With three floors of galleries and a lookout tower to explore, comfortable footwear is recommended.

Café and Shop: The Waterside Café offers a selection of meals and refreshments with stunning views over the harbour. The museum shop is stocked with unique maritime gifts, books, and souvenirs.

Accessibility: The museum is fully accessible, with lifts to all floors and wheelchair-friendly facilities.

Nearby Attractions

Falmouth Harbour: Take a leisurely stroll around one of the world’s deepest natural harbours, dotted with beautiful beaches and historical points of interest.

Pendennis Castle: Explore this impressive Tudor fortress, offering spectacular views and a glimpse into Cornwall’s military past.

Glendurgan Garden: A short drive from Falmouth, this National Trust property features a superb subtropical garden tumbling down to the Helford River.


The National Maritime Museum Cornwall offers a fascinating insight into the world of boats, sailors, and the maritime heritage that has shaped Cornwall and the UK.

Whether you’re a maritime enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for an enjoyable day out with the family, the museum promises an educational and entertaining experience.

With its interactive displays, breathtaking views, and rich collections, it stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of exploration and adventure that defines our relationship with the sea.